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How to Cheaply Update Framed Art

This step-by-step tutorial shows you just how easy it is to cheaply update framed art, in order to better match your decor.

Do you have a favorite painting, or piece of art?  Or maybe a favorite artist?

Who, or what piece, is your favorite?

One artist that I have always loved is Jack Vettriano.  I have had a print of his painting The Singing Butler hanging in my home for many years now.

So, I was stoked when I came across another good-size, framed Vettriano at an auction house for only $20!  I wasn’t crazy about the frame or the matting, but I knew that could easily be changed.  

This step-by-step tutorial shows you just how easy it is to cheaply update framed art, in order to better match your decor.

After bringing it home, it just sat in the bedroom leaning against the wall for quite awhile.  I had thoughts of having it re-matted and reframed, but considering the size of the piece, I knew that would be quite expensive.  So, finally, I decided to just paint the frame and see how I liked it.

And let me tell you, this couldn’t have been easier (or cheaper!).  PLUS, it completely transformed the whole vibe of the piece.  It now works well with the rest of my decor and is proudly hanging on the wall.  I may start going through the rest of my old pieces, now that I know just how easy it is to cheaply update framed art.

Also, if you love an easy, simple makeover, then you are in luck.  It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means it’s blog hop time!  Every first Sunday, I team up with some blogger friends to bring you some DIY inspiration.  So, at the bottom of this post, you will find some other fantastic ideas for “mini-makeovers.”  DIY doesn’t always have to be big, grand projects.  Sometimes the easy, “mini” makeovers are the most fun!  

Be sure to check them all out at the bottom of this post!

How to Cheaply Update Framed Art

(This post contains affiliate links.  To see my full disclosure, go here.)

The only supply you really need for this project is a can of spray paint.  Since I already had plenty of spray paint on hand, this makeover cost me exactly $0.  Woo-hoo!

Step 1 – Deconstruct the Frame and Wipe Down

The first thing I did was take everything apart.  You don’t want to risk getting paint on the print itself.  Plus, this print had already started to slip within the frame, as you can see in the picture above.

Once it has been deconstruct, wipe the frame down really well, and be sure it is dry.  You don’t need to do any priming with spray paint, but you do need to make sure the surface is clean.

This step-by-step tutorial shows you just how easy it is to cheaply update framed art, in order to better match your decor.

Step 2 – Paint the Frame

I decided to go with a matte black for the frame.  

This step-by-step tutorial shows you just how easy it is to cheaply update framed art, in order to better match your decor.

Holding the spray can about 6-12″ from the surface of the frame, I sprayed relatively short strokes back and forth across the frame.  The first coat will likely look terrible and not even remotely cover the old surface.  But numerous light coats with spray paint is better than laying it on too heavy and having a lot of runs, or pools, in the paint.  

This ended up requiring 3 coats, in order to get it fully covered.

This step-by-step tutorial shows you just how easy it is to cheaply update framed art, in order to better match your decor.

Step 3 – Deconstruct (and Reconstruct) the Mat

The next thing I did was deconstruct the mat.  There was some gold trim work in between the two mats, which I was not crazy about.  So, I pulled all of the matting apart, got rid of the gold trim, and put the two mats back together.

This step-by-step tutorial shows you just how easy it is to cheaply update framed art, in order to better match your decor.

I debated about changing the mat, as I’m not entirely in love with the marbled mat.  I feel that it’s a bit outdated.  But I decided to hang it and live with it for awhile, and then reevaluate.  

What do you think?  Do you like the mat, or should I change it?

Step 4 – Clean and Put Back Together

The next thing to do is simply clean everything up – glass and frame – and put it all back together.

What a difference, huh?!

This step-by-step tutorial shows you just how easy it is to cheaply update framed art, in order to better match your decor.

Step 5 – Hang Up and Enjoy

Finally, hang up your artwork, and enjoy!  We have a fair amount of empty wallspace in our bedroom.  So, that’s where I put my new Vettriano piece, Dance Me to the End of Love.  

 

Don’t forget to pin this for later, and follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration!

 

*Here are some more fantastic “mini-makeovers!”

Cork Board and Key Caddy Makeover from Grandma’s House DIY

Awesome and Easy DIY Fall Tree Branch from Chas’ Crazy Creations

Craft Room Makeover from Life as a LEO Wife

Laundry Room Refresh from The House on Silverado

Fall Entryway and DIY Lantern from Thrifting Wonderland

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12 Comments

  1. I’m here from Grandma’s House. I am not a fan of anything “marble-ized”, but in this case, I really do like it. I think the change in the frame was just enough to add newness to the picture and the matting adds to the dreaminess of the scene. BTW, I do love the picture and will now look for this artist. Thanks for sharing and I have added my email to your list. 😊

    1. Thank you so much! I’m still not totally sold on the marble, but I think it could grow on me. So glad to have you here!

  2. This turned out beautiful. Completely changed the whole look of the piece. It definitely makes it look like you spent more than $20 on it! I’m a bargain hunter, and I do similar things. I’ve painted over the actual piece to match my decor, but I haven’t painted a frame yet. You have my mind racing about how I can use several of the pieces I have in a closet! Great mini makeover!!

    1. Thank you! I considered painting the mat, but I’ve never done that before and didn’t want to ruin it. Ha! Good to know that it can potentially be done. And I say, drag all of those pieces out of the closet and give them an easy update! 😉

  3. Hi Amy,
    Great tutorial. It’s nice to be able to reuse and recycle rather than pitch things. Painting the frames to co-ordinate with your decor or a special display is so nice. Thanks for sharing.
    Lynne, Thrifting Wonderland

    1. Thanks, Lynne! Yes, I couldn’t let this piece pass me by, knowing I could easily update it to fit my home.

  4. That is such a great way to makeover an old frame Amy. And if you ever tire of that mat Michaels has a service where they will cut mats for you to your measurements. That is truly a great piece of art!!

    1. Thank you, Mary! And I will remember that about Michael’s, in case I decide to change it up at some point. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Niky! I’m not minding the marble as much, now that it’s been hanging for awhile.

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